Is it possible for balkans to "unify"? - Politics | PoFo

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My name is Aggelos , I'm 16 years old, I am Greek and this is my first post
hello community

First of all in this thread we will consider the balkan geographical region to extend from modern day Slovenia till Greece till northern Serbia and Wallachia-Moldavia.

Nowadays Balkans are known for being one of the most divided ethnically regions of the world.
Today it consists of 4 main ethnicities . 1)Southern slavs* (Serbia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Bosnia Hg, Croatia)
3) Albanians

*The Southern slavs are distinguished between the East and the West divisions. East division consists of Serbs, Bulgars, Montenegrins and Macedonians. While the west consists of Slovenian, Bosnian and Croatian people (who are mostly influenced religionmusly and polticaly by the Italian and Austrian type of governments and cultures, because they once used to be part of the Habsurg empire )
This split between the southern slavs goes further deep as the east is orthodox and the west is Catholic (with some Muslim minorities).
Historically the Western division is more influenced by the Western world than the east division. Since the latter used to be under the ottoman rule for 400+ years, while the west was ruled by the Austrian empire. Thus it was exposed to renaissance and enlightenment, while the east was culturally and technologically stationary and influenced by middle Eastern culture and religion.

In order to discuss realistically how much is this union possible . First we need to know how many and who of the balkan peoples could join this union or not, in order for this union to be relatively stable and not get dismantled in the first decade of its existence.
For example we have seen in the past that the Habsurg Empire and the Jugoslavian Republic both collapsed because of the instability all these ethnicities they ruled yielded because of their strong nationalist spirit.
The lesson we took from these two empires is Croats, Bosnians and Serbs cannot be in the same empire, Union, federation etc. Because they simply cannot coexist and their bitter rivalry will bring instability to whoever rules them.
Thus our union should contain only one of these peoples, otherwise it will consumes most of its resources on this rivalry .

Thus it should contain , Either Eastern South slav division either Western South slav division. In my opinion it should be the Eastern division , because the Western is not connected to the rest of the balkans in no way whatsoever (either that's economy, either culture, either language or even culture) .

Moving on towards the south we find the Albanians. Well Albanians are a weird situation when it comes to their nationalism honestly. They were the last of the balkan people to get an ethnic consciousness and the last to get independence. Although they have a very bitter rivalry on their northern border with the Serbs, the situation on the southern border isn't the same as it once used to be nowadays. Since the 90s more than one million Albanians have migrated to Greece. Thus the Albanian nationalism may still be "burning", but the economic and politic ties between Greece and Albania are so strong nowadays that there is no real rivalry whatsoever, of course except a few bunch of ultra nationalist Albanian groups. Thus the addition of Albania into the union would be tricky because of the Serbs, but their economic and political dependance to Greece is stronger than their Serbian rivalry.

Next on the line are the Greeks. These people have managed to diplomatically tighten relationships with Bulgarian, Albanian, Macedonian and Serbian governments over the past decades. Economically, Greece is the leader the southern balkan region in many ways and the only ones who could convince all the others to persuit this union . That means that a beginner 3 part base for this union could be Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria. Since those three are the strongest of all other balkan countries in military terms. Their combined economies are probably one of the largest in Eastern Europe. Religiously and ethnically speaking they already are very united nowadays and their combined interests are pretty similar to each other.

A further addition to the union could be Macedonia. Macedonia heavily depends , economically and militarily on Greece. Even the national Bank of Macedonia is just a branch of Greek Bank (btw same is true for the albanian banks) . Thus her entry into the union would be very possible and regarded by all the other 2 main members.

About the governing body of the union. At first I was thinking that this union could be created only by a Greek initiative, since the Greeks are the only balkans who have the economical, military and political resources can actually make this union possible. Thus a Greek head of state with some Greek, serb and Bulgarian ministers was my first idea.
But I thought that in order for this union to stabilise fast, it needs one more centralised goverment at first. Thus a constitutional monarchy run by a temporary Greek governor for the union , elected by the people of the Union, would be a more efficient one.

Please tell me your opinions and ideas. And especially if you have noticed flaws, tell me all the flaws.
Thank you for your time,
Last edited by Hellas me ponas on 07 Jan 2020 11:16, edited 1 time in total.

When it comes on how to rule this union. My idea is full embracement of militarist pacifism in the first 5-8 decades of its existence. Because this union would need consolidation and reorganisation of various sectors, an aggressive foreign policy would be destructive for the economy and the stability of it, but at the same time the union must show she is strong and she isn't afraid of using her force to protect her interests.
Allow me to welcome this Honourable New Member, although I am not a moderator and is indeed "serving a sentence".

If a "Union" means being one single country I will say it is very difficult. Effectively only two empires actually managed to do so: the Roman Empire and the Ottoman Empire. In both cases the union was with some foreign power and was broken up after a few centuries, without the ethnicity changing much. This clearly demonstrates that each ethnicity in the region has a very strong sense of identity and may be not very interested in entering unions with their neighbours.

However, if a "Union" is something similar to the European Union, but essentially closer due to the countries' proximity, then I believe it is more plausible.
Union for the eyes of the public and being political correct towards foreign public opinion.
The way I see this country forming is a strong and capable Greek goverment, enforcing the Bulgarian and Serbian corrupted governments into this unification by mainly bribes but also promising some other stuff, the Chinese will be helping on this "project" because Greece can be a foothold for the Chinese ambitions for Europe and in extend this union .
And about the Serbian and Bulgarian people, they will be united under an orthodox nation, into a half slav half Greek union. Satisfaction of representation of the different people will be achieved through the election of different representatives for each region.
You are right about they have strong identity and that's how this union will be consistent only by those peoples. I mean during roman/byzantine times, slavs were a new people thst introduced to the region and didn't have much in common with the locals thus culturally they were very distanced from their byzantine overlords. Soemthing thst will not happen on this situation because Greek serb and Bulgarian people are very close in religion and culture and also a strong goverment that improves economy and welfare and also the pride of its people being cultivated by having a strong and ruthless position when it comes to foreign policy and also built a strong army for it defence, will satisfy the national feelings of most of the citizens.
But yes at first it would start like the European Union, but gradually it would centralise more.
Last edited by Hellas me ponas on 07 Jan 2020 11:52, edited 2 times in total.
"Chinese will be helping this"

I mean they can be dragged into helping funding this one through many different ways of Greeks promise them some ports and a share from the oil of East Mediterranean
Also the Russian could possibly support this, because the new nation will be a slav/Greek orthodox nation and also we aim to not only continue but also expand the Russian gas pipelines to Europe and also support Russian interests in the region.
The only problem is the westerners (Germans, British, French and Americans) will for sure want to stop this and destroy it. Thus I count that the balkan-Russian - Chinese governments to find an other distractiom for the westerners (like Iran, India, Turkey, anything) so the Greek goverment can do its work.
We can assume it worked out for the Romans. Because their empire lasted more than 1200 years. Longest than every other empire (except the Chinese empire).
But when they failed it happened for specific reasons. Ottoman rule over balkan failed for different reasons than the Romans failed and also the fact that the ottomans ruled land over 3 different continents, whilst this "Union" contains only Serbia Bulgaria Greece Macedonia and maybe Albania.
I'd appreciate if you could be more specific lad
Hellas me ponas wrote:We can assume it worked out for the Romans. Because their empire lasted more than 1200 years. Longest than every other empire (except the Chinese empire).
But when they failed it happened for specific reasons. Ottoman rule over balkan failed for different reasons than the Romans failed and also the fact that the ottomans ruled land over 3 different continents, whilst this "Union" contains only Serbia Bulgaria Greece Macedonia and maybe Albania.
I'd appreciate if you could be more specific lad

Okay, lets go back through history lane.

Why did it work the Romans? First of all, this is a misconception because Romans never fully conquered the region. Dacia was under nominal Roman control even after Trojan(The only thing controlled were the mines), before that they weren't even under Roman control. Also the cultural and religions make up of the region was very different. Rome used methods that we would consider Barbaric now to conquer some of the lands, so this is not really an applicable example.

Same goes for the Ottomans. Now the Ottomans example is a bit closer to the modern days BUT again, you are not going to use the same methods as the Ottomans in the modern world. Not to mention the Ottomans never really held the whole territory and had it under nominal control with frequent rebellions from Walachia, Moldova and that 3rd Kingdom which name i tend to always forget. (The richest of the 3) In the end, the Voyevoids maintained semi or full independence.

What other examples? Yugoslavia i guess? Again, not all the territory was under the communist control and it fell apart as soon as the communist party disolved because it was an artificial creation of sorts enforced by the communist ideals of one system, one ideology and one culture.

There was also Austro-Hungary but it falls under the same pitfalls as the previous one.

So its easy to notice a trend here, to unify the region as one country, you need to:
a) Probably use Barbaric means to do so. (Romans had no problem killined 1/3rd of the population while enslaving the other 1/3rd)
b) The cultural, religious, ethnic division needs to be suppressed by something else.
c) Once either a or b fails then the "union" falls a part.

Its nice how you mentioned the Chinese here. Chinese empire is misunderstood through the ages. First of all, i don't know if its appropriate to say that all Chinese empire variation are the continuity of the same entity and not different existences of their own. But i can easily ignore this and agree. The other problem is the Chinese empire has not been unified for even 1000 years. When we see the maps, they are neat and all but they do not explain that most places in China for the majority of the empires were ruled by sort of Warlords. After the empire unified for a 100 years or so then this "unified" China policy is enforced and the history is re-written. Pretty much like with the Warlord period in China during the last Century. China hasn't been a unified state for as long as many think. Rome by the way also.(Not the Byzantine empire) I am not sure who was a fully unified state longer Roman Empire/Republic or China. It basically depends what you count as core and what are provinces/satrapies/dependents. Same goes for the Balcan unifications that i explained on top.

So no, there is not going to be a long lasting Balkan state any time soon. Perhaps with the help of the EU it might eventually happen through some slow integration and democratic solutions to some of the regional problems. That is a very slow process though.
We share the same food and do enjoy the life.

Democracy is in Balkans a cleptocracy therefore I would propose a different form of government... Tito-Yugoslawia worked well perhaps a Socialist Monarchy

Balkan means in old bulgarian Bal Khan great king

I would say we need an Emperor who has several women each of the first born boy has to fight in a MMA tournament and the winner is the next Emperor.

And tournament in a modern strategy game.

The princes should have the faith and language of the mother. We would need a though motherfucker on the throne who can withstand the Turks, NATO and Russia...

We all are in a deep economic crisis, the youth is fleeing to Germany, corruption is omnipresent worser then now can not be the situation. Although we formed the oldest existing states in Europe

.let us do some brainstorming
Last edited by Sandzak on 09 Jan 2020 16:30, edited 1 time in total.
Well the turks could never unify balkans for the simple reason that the three main balkan nations are all Christian and they really do have strong anti Turkish spirits. Especially Greeks and Serbs, they would keep fighting until last man standing.
What I meant was that through first an economical union and then a political one
Serbia Bulgaria and Greece (maybe even Macedonia) , would unite into one state.
And the reason I thought this could be more successful than the past balkan empires is for 2 main reasons.
1st religious and ethnucal unity. All the nations I just mentioned are Christian orthodox and share long lots of history.
Greek Bulgarian and Serbian peoples are getting very close during past decades. Especially Greeks with Bulgarians have very strong economic and political ties.
2nd I see those 3 balkan nations (Serbia Bulgaria greece) as the free city states of ancient Greece.
Because, in ancient Greece all the Greek city states always fought each other when there was no real external threat and they all had a very strong sense of identity and a kind of nationalism for their home cities(just like balkans do for their nations )
But when a serious external threat was posed against them, most of the times they all (or at least the majority of them) united against this threat. We see examples of that at greko Persian wars, even when the macedons tried to unite them by force and last time we saw it was against the Romans with the Aetolian league.
Balkans stands united against the ottomans all along during the 1800s with the height of this Co operation being the first balkan war.
This one was a very good example of what balkans can achieve when their interests are common. And I think that nowadays their interests are again common but in a different way than 1912.
Additionally In 1821 the Greek revolution was declared.
Do you think that Greeks were on their own?
Truth is that before the declaration of independence and also after , all balkan nations (Serbs Bulgarians and Greeks) cooperated in a very tighter way than you may think. For fun fact, the first Greek revolution happened in moldavia and wallachia but it was crashed very soon because the Russians betrayed the Greek-led balkan rebels.
By the way have you heard of Megali Idea (great idea)?
The great idea wasn't dream for a greater Greece, but for a greater balkan nation and peoples from all around the balkans believed in this and it was the goal of every balkan elit for some time (1790s till 1830s), but unfortunately the Great powers of the era didn't allow it and strongly fought against it and they destroy it very early before it can be applied .
I suggest you search it, because that's where I was inspired.
My version of this Great idea is somewhat different than the original.
Instead of a socialist confederacy, I suggest a governing system the same as the British, but the king should be given a bit more power than the British system King has.
The reason is the following.
The council should aim into achieving the interests of all the peoples that are in the confederacy in order to keep all the elits satisfied until they merge into one elit, the balkan elit .
Democracy is a key fro a confederacy to work, but because we all know corruption is a huge problem in modern day, thus a king is required to intervene when necessary.
Also the king, could help in creating a new kind of patriotism and forge a new balkan consciousness. All balkans would feel represented because of the council, but also they'd feel their interests are always protected by corruption by the King, also the King is a very strong and uniting figure for people to believe in . That way I want to achieve a kind of patriotism same as the British one.
In order to unite the balkans we shouldn't look only at balkan history but also at other areas where the same happened. Britain is a good example.
Last edited by Hellas me ponas on 10 Jan 2020 16:53, edited 1 time in total.
Actually balkan is the old Turkish word for mountain. And it's introduced for first time as a term during the 18-19th century.
The peninsula used to be called Aimos Peninsula. Aimos is this mountain ridge that spreads from Slovenia until Greece and Bulgaria.

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